SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's International Sealift Contract Management Branch was recently named the Greater St. Louis Federal Executive Board's 2021 Excellence in Government Award winner for the Technical Non-IT/Cyber, Junior Category.
The annual awards program recognizes current military, postal, and federal civilian employees for their individual and team accomplishments, both in the work place and the community at large
Part of SDDC's Operations Directorate, the International Sealift Contract Management Branch delivers agile and adaptive contract management for all Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise stakeholders relating to cargo movements within the Defense Transportation System. In 2020, SDDC contracts moved over 115,000 shipments worldwide.
The branch was nominated for its exceptional performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, when it overcame transitions and delays, to the tune of 44,000 delays, compared to just 8,000 delays the year prior.
Within a few short weeks after transitioning to a telework environment, the team adapted and overcame barriers preventing a collaborative work environment by using different systems and processes.
"What set us apart from [other nominated teams] were my teammates and all they accomplished to adapt and deliver virtually during a very unique COVID environment where our area of responsibilities had increased workloads, said Todd Goetz, the branch chief.
"It was amazing watching our team overcome challenges, grow together in a virtual environment and come out stronger and more productive," he added.
Mr. Michael Hutchison, SDDC's deputy to the commander and senior civilian leader said he was proud of the team's accomplishments and the difference they make throughout the command, adding that awards like this distinguish groups and individuals throughout the command.
"It's recognition that we've got some innovative members of our team," he said. "That's the biggest thing. This is a unique kind of award recognition, and it helps us create an environment where people feel valued."
This sentiment was seconded by Kevin Lundquist, chief of the International Support Division and Goetz's supervisor.
"It's important to recognize our employees for their hard work and sacrifices to accomplish the mission. We have a team of dedicated professionals that go above and beyond every day, so we're working to build a culture of gratitude and recognition to inspire them and show our appreciation for their efforts," he said.
Hutchison says that leaders throughout the command need to continue to nominate their teams and individuals for external awards like these.
"Supervisors and leaders are supposed to be recognizing their workforce. We're supposed to be providing feedback on performance and creating an environment where our workforce feels valued and their achievements are recognized," he said.
Since 1985, during Public Service Recognition Week in May, the FEB sets aside time to honor and recognize the outstanding efforts of federal employees - both civilian and military - throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, Southern Illinois, Eastern Missouri, and Southwestern Kentucky.